Walking trail in Toolangi State Forest, you'll get along some giant trees.

Top 5 4WD spots less than 2 hours from Melbourne

Victoria is notorious for its confusing climate. But we think Melbourne’s famous “four seasons in one day” is just part of the fun. From world-class wineries, lush green national parks, Alpine towns and the spectacular scenery of the High Country, Victoria is sure to impress 4WD adventurers, both new and experienced alike. In this article, Offmain handpicked some of the best 4WD routes near Melbourne (1.5 hr-2hrs) ideal for spontaneous trips where you can just take off for the day without the need for much prep!

Note that due to Vitoria’s unpredictable weather, these spots have seasonal closures. Always check parks.gov.au for current closures before planning your trip. Read on to find our choices, we hope you will love them as much as we do. Comes see what’s around and how to get there.

1. Wombat & Lerderderg State Forests

Lerderderg State Park, Melbourne's 4x4 Escapes.

How far:

1 hour (50 kms) from Melbourne.

Drive your 4x4  on a rocky Lerderderg River between Bacchus Marsh and Blackwood.

What to do & see:

  • Plenty of great 4WD tracks with river crossings and steep terrain, ranging from chill to extra challenging
  • Various tracks for bushwalking ranging from shorter ones of a few hours to overnight ones (e.g. The Tunnel Walk for cool natural rock formations
  • There are BBQ’s and toilets at the Mackenzies Flat Picnic Area and jump into the Lerderderg River for a swim or go fishing.
  • Grahams Dam is a beautiful swimming spot accessible only by foot from the O’Briens Crossing campground
  • Shaws Lake is a great spot for a picnic and a stroll to the historic goldmining town
Jump for a swim at the Lerderderg River flowing through Lerderderg State Park  after an adventure.

Camping facilities:

O’Briens Crossing is a small campsite with toilets and BBQ. Water here needs to be treated before drinking. Check our drinking water tips here.

Amblers Crossing is a more remote site and accessible via Amblers Lane Track in northern part of the State Park. It is a quieter site next to a water crossing, perfect for the summer.

4WD Track in Wombat State

2. Bunyip State Park

Enjoy the walking trail in Bunyip State Park which is covered in a forest.

How far:

1.5 hours (106 kms) east of Melbourne.

Try the 4wd track at Bunyip State Park.

What to do & see:

  • Many 4WD tracks with different levels of challenge
    • Gentle Annie (43 kms) is a steep mountain terrains with rocky climbs, and worth the drive for the spectacular views of the Gippsland
    • Blue Range (15 kms) takes you through spectacular views across the park to Westernport Bay. On the return trip, you'll pass through alpine drains and steep areas before descending into flat heathlands
  • Horse riding at the The Heritage Horse Trail
  • Several walking tracks ranging from less than an hour to 6.5 hours
Four Brothers Rock in Bunyip State Park is perfect for hiking, will take around 5 hrs to complete.

Camping facilities:

  • Nash Creek Campground has a toilet and shared picnic table.
  • Bunyip Weir (Freemans Mill) Camping Area on the beautiful Bunyip River No toilet.
  • Forest Road Camping Area has a non flush toilet
  • Mortimer Camping Area is a great base for many walking tracks. Suitable for tents only


Hikers is exploring the Bunyip State Park

3. Toolangi State Forest

Walking trail in Toolangi State Forest, you'll get along some giant trees.

How far:

1 hour and 10 minutes (78 kms) northeast of Melbourne.

Enjoy the walking trail in Toolangi State Forest after your other outdoor activities.

What to do & see:

  • Several 4WD tracks:
    • Rocky Track (2.4 kms) is short but a lot of the fun. Connected to Marginal track, which is notorious for the amount of bog holes
    • Martins track includes a river crossing but can be overflowing in wet conditions. Recommended for experienced 4WDers. Other parts of the track has a variety of terrains
    • Aeroplane track (5.3 kms) is arguably one of the most challenging tracks. Mostly mud and clay with deep ruts. Recovery is highly likely so better to travel in group and bring a winch
  • Beginner-friendly walking trails. Most popular is Wirrawilla Walk, which is a short 30-minute return walk. Cool and shady with rainforest climate. Others worth exploring are Myrtle Gully Circuit, Tanglefoot Loop and Kalatha Giant Tree Walk
  • Beautiful falls for fishing or cool dipping: Emily Falls, Sylvia Creek Falls, Murrindindi Falls and Cascade Falls.
Experience the old eucalyptus trees and fern trees at Toolangi State Forest when you try the 4x4 track.

Camping facilities:

Murrindindi Scenic Reserve has long drop toilets available. Treat water before drinking. Wood BBQ available but BYO firewood.

Two Hills is a bush campsite with no facilities

Explore the giant trees along the walking trail at Toolangi State Forest.

4. Marysville

Visit Marysville's iconic Gould Memorial Drive in autumn colours, when you join some outdoor activities.

How far:

1 hour 40 mins (97kms) northeast of Melbourne

Experience the 4wd track at rocky Taggerty River on Lady Talbot Drive near Marysville.

What to do & see:

  • Several 4WD tracks mostly for those who love a challenge
    • Strickland Spur Track has some fun rocky climbs, more suitable for experienced 4WDers. High ground clearance. Low range and Mud to Extreme Mud terrain tyres required. This is rated as a Black Diamond Track.
    • Paradise Plains Rd offers a hilly drive (the views at Keppel Lookout is heavenly)
    • Lady Talbot Drive has a river crossing
    • In winter, climb up Mount Matlock to see some snow
  • Various walking tracks. Check out Tree Fern Gully, Cumberland, Steavenson Falls and Michaeldene trail
One of the walking tracks in Marysville: Steavenson Falls.

Camping facilities:

There are a few camping sites within the Marysville State Forest: Keppel Creek Camping Area, Anderson Mill and Keppels Hut. Numerous bush camping sites are available in the adjacent Big River State Forest. Some have toilets and all have fireplaces.

Plan your 4x4 trip and you'll see those lovely tall eucalyptus trees  in Marysville Victoria.

5. Mount Disappointment

Hike in a small stream in the hills of Mt Disappointment state forest.

How far:

1 hour 17 mins (82kms) north of Melbourne

Bike trails around Mount Disappointment.

What to do & see:

  • Many challenging 4WD tracks
    • Stony Creek Track is in the middle of Stony Creek and includes a light river crossing
    • Quarry Track has some steep rocky climbs
    • The Ladder Track is one of the most challenging tracks with bog holes and a serious tilt
  • Plenty of walking tracks. Most popular is Strath Creek Falls. Also check out Summit Walk, Sunday Creek & Reservoir Walk
4wd track in Mount Disappointment in a white cloud & blue sky.

Camping facilities:

Regular Camp, Andersons Garden and No. 1 Camp. Most visitor and camping areas have picnic tables, fireplaces, and toilets.

Alright, that’s our selections of the best 4WD spots near Melbourne. We hope you enjoyed reading, but more importantly, we hope you’ll take your 4WD out there and quench your thirst for adventure! Let us know how you go and tag us on Instagram @offmain.offroad

Explore at Mount Disappointment the walking tracks.

At Offmain, we believe that 4WDing and outdoor adventure is for everyone, and getting started should be easy. Founded by a team of female 4WDers and a rookie hiking adventurer, Offmain is a positive and inclusive community for people of all experience levels, from those researching Vehicles, Camping and adventure options - all you need is the love to explore.

Come on an adventure with us 🥳

FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/Offmain22

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Email: hello@offmain.com.au


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